A BRIGHT young student was found dead in bed after taking a popular diet pill.

Lindsey Bone was a promising criminology student at the University of Sussex.

The 20-year-old was found dead in her bedroom in Coombe Road, Brighton, by flatmates on April 5. She had died the night before.

At an inquest on Thursday a coroner could not find a reason for her death and said it was a “mystery”.

Lindsey’s mother Mandy Bone said: “She was just a wonderful, strong person.

“She wanted to get through university to honour her dad and do the best she could. She had so many plans for the future and everything she wanted to do.”

Brighton and Hove Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley heard Lindsey had been following a strict diet plan including fasting and regularly taking supplement tablets of apple cider vinegar, which is widely advertised as a “natural appetite suppressant” and “weight loss supplement” made from crushed, distilled and fermented apples.

The coroner was told by Lindsey’s fiancé Jamie she had been anxious about an upcoming holiday and had been determined to lose weight.

When coroner’s officer Claire Rogers visited her room shortly after she had been found, she found a food diary containing rules such as “eat no more than 1,200 calories a day”, “carbs only once a day if at all”, “stay at the library and don’t eat”, snack on fruit and “take your f***ing apple cider vinegar”.

The notebook included comments in which she was “very negative about herself”, Mrs Rogers reported.

A police officer said “dieting pills” were found in the room.

Mrs Bone, from Kingston, London, said she knew her daughter “used to take a tablespoon [of cider vinegar] every time she ate, three times a day” but had since started taking it in tablets. She said she had been taking it for “maybe two years”. Mrs Bone said her daughter had been doing the 5:2 diet, restricting food intake two days a week, and knew through messages from her that she had not eaten much on the day of her death.

Lindsey’s body was examined by pathologist Dr Catherine Guy and most tests returned “normal” results.

All that was found in her system were prescribed anti-depressant and anxiety medication and neither exceeded a “normal, therapeutic dose”.

Dr Guy said: “The only positive finding from blood tests was a slightly high acid level in the blood.”

This is called acidosis.

Dr Guy said: “It was not at a level we would normally consider as a fatal level but it was a lot higher than usual.

“Your body has a natural way of balancing acid and alkali and that can be affected by diet, very high protein and low fat diets, especially if there has been fasting.

“Apple cider vinegar is a food supplement. There is not much information on the effect it could have.

“Obviously the vinegar is acidic and we don’t know how many she was taking at once.

“The only serious effects in the past have been when people have had a lot of vinegar.”

Lindsey was prescribed anti-depressants and anxiety medication by her GP after losing her father in May 2018.

She had picked up repeat prescriptions of these when she had last seen her GP in March.

Miss Hamilton-Deeley said the GP notes said Lindsey was still feeling anxious but was able to do daily activities, was eating well and did not have thoughts of ending her life.

She said the case was a “mystery”, adding: “The only two conclusions would be natural causes or misadventure if we found that for some reason any supplements she was taking had a reaction with any of her medication.

“But that seems so unlikely because it’s not as if apple cider vinegar is new.

“People have been using it for donkey’s years.”

She concluded: “On the balance of probability I can record it is likely cardiac arrhythmia. I don’t know what has caused it.

“What might have contributed is the anxiety and depression because of what she had been prescribed.

“They might not be 100 per cent good.

“Any prescription carries an element of risk. We can’t avoid the risks we don’t know about.”

Miss Hamilton-Deeley recognised Lindsey was in a state of acidosis and said: “We have talked about the apple cider vinegar but there were other things she took and there is the possibility that on that day, a day of dieting, there was some interaction but I don’t know.

“I am going to leave the conclusion open and I can’t do anything but offer you condolences on the loss of an extraordinary young woman.

“It is not satisfactory but I fear it is the best I can do.”

After the hearing, held in Brighton, Mrs Bone said she wanted to warn others, particularly young girls, about extreme dieting.

She said: “Please be careful.”